Is Breastfeeding the New Vacuum Cleaner?


the case against breastfeeding, breastfeeding not healthy

Is breastfeeding our generation's
vacuum cleaner?

"In certain overachieving circles, breastfeeding is no longer a choice—it's a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet the actual health benefits of breastfeeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Is breastfeeding right for every family? Or is it this generation's vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?"

This is from "The Case Against Breastfeeding," an article by Hanna Rosin in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine. Hanna is certainly not against breastfeeding—she has three children, all of whom she has breastfed.But she does have a few choice words for La Leche League.

The article is well researched and well thought out. I don't agree with it all, but I highly recommend you read it and would love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Here's a bit I found interesting:

"The debate about breast-feeding takes place without any reference to its actual context in women’s lives. Breastfeeding exclusively is not like taking a prenatal vitamin. It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way. Let’s say a baby feeds seven times a day and then a couple more times at night. That’s nine times for about a half hour each, which adds up to more than half of a working day, every day, for at least six months. This is why, when people say that breast-feeding is 'free,' I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing."

What do you think? Does breastfeeding keep women down?



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Harri... Harrisonsmommie

I thought it was much easier breastfeeding my son, than bottle feeding. Think about it, no bottles to clean, no formula to buy, none to take with me when I went anywhere. No warming milk. It was always fresh at the right temperature, and in his sling, I could breastfeed him while I was pushing a shopping cart! SOOOOO much easier, than running to the store to get more formula, boiling clean water,mixing it, warming it, washing the bottles, then trying to figure out how much to bring on a trip, etc

nikki... nikkit311

yea, so guess this is the new formula advocate?? interesting how just when society begins to think that breastfeeding is a good thing again there is someone to discourage it. anyway, every person will decide what is best for their baby and themselves but this woman is full of crap. Yes, breastfeeding is hard, but my son and I have a bond that no one can break. I go to school full time and I have 3 kids while breastfeeding, I am still going, it definitely has challenges but I don't think, that it is costing my life.

Tanya... TanyaR1024

I couldn't even get through the whole thing! I'm not really sure her purpose in writing this "I hate breastfeeding but I do it anyways so these imaginary moms (cuz we all know how popular breastfeeding is in the US!) won't hassle me about it." I had my son when I was 17, had to go back to school after 3 weeks and I managed to breastfeed my son for 16 months! There were times he had formula, until I got a better pump but I did what I had to do to make it work. I never once felt like I didn't want to be nursing my child, or it was holding me back. Feeding your child at the breast should be a motherly instinct and I really wonder about those for which that is not true...

heath... heatherama


I have many issues with the article and this is just one of them.

As a woman I find it especially empowering that my female body is able to create food for the same baby that it helped produce.

I wish Rossin's article would have stayed true to it's beginning. I would have enjoyed reading an article that examined why breastfeeding has become some sort of status symbol. I don't agree that it has but that seems to be the central point of her article at first and then it wanders into the science of breastfeeding and the culture of breastfeeding and even feminism. It's hard for me, as a breastfeeding advocate and a breastfeeding mom, to find her points none other than one long, defensive rant. I mean I get it, some moms were rude to her on the playground. So what? She responds by 'taking her boobs and going home'? How is that attitude any better?

Furthermore, if she wants to discredit the science behind breastfeeding studies then it would have been beneficial for her to also include similar studies that have been conducted in the same manner. Failing to do so just makes her look uninformed.

Lastly, I found her attacks on the LLL to be, for lack of a better word, disgusting.




nichv... nichvegas-mommy

 work full-time, as well as exclusively BF. Exlusively BF doesn't necessary mean exclusively from the breast - my LO gets expressed milk as well. So to say that "It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way."  is absolutely incorrect. I work an 8 to 5 outside of the home, then BF when I am home with my son. It's true that breastfeeding is time consuming and can truly be a task that tests the mind and body.  True, in deciding to BF, you are signing up for a serious time commitment, but to state that you will be unable to work is incorrect. Here's to all of the working mom's who have committed to breastfeeding!! Seven months and still going here!!

Jorda... Jordanlover05

Ha, this article makes me laugh!!!!

ARE YOU SERIOUS?embarrassed

RanaA... RanaAurora

I'm disgusted to see this article linked here.  It was the most INCORRECT, disgusting, hatred-filled, mislead piece of crap I'd read in a long, long time.

If she thinks that her baby's well-being isn't worth a little more time, she shouldn't have any damned kids.  That woman is just a repulsive, sad, foul person.

Melan... MelanieLouise

I love nursing because I know that if I live to be 100, the 5-8 years or so that I spent nursing my children was such a small period of time in the grand scheme of things. Kids are only babies once, and I want to make sure that my babies are getting the very best. Sure, I'm not able to drop my kids off with Gramma all the time since I don't have enough pumped milk to satisfy both of them for more than a couple hours, but I cherish the time I have with my babies.

Plus, I love my vacuum.

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